Driving across the country is a lot of fun, but it’s also pretty stressful. You don’t know what you’re going to encounter along the highway, and you don’t know when you’re going to get stuck at a red light for an hour. Driving cross-country can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking if you prepare your car for the journey.
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about preparing your car for a long drive across the country. We’ll explain what needs to be checked and replaced before hitting the open road, how long an extended road trip will require maintenance and more.
Check the following before driving across the country
Before you head out on a road trip across the country, it’s a good idea to make sure a handful of things are up to par in your car. First, make sure you have enough gas in the tank. Depending on how long you’ll be driving, the tank should be about half-full. You don’t want to be running out of gas on the road or in a remote area.
Make sure you’ve also replaced your windshield wipers, as they’ll require a good cleaning. You’ll also want to inspect your brake pads and rotors. Make sure they don’t have any grooves in them from being worn down. And finally, ensure that your tires aren’t bald or dangerously low on air pressure. It would be a good idea to get a full car servicing done before your trip, as this will ensure that your cat is fit to take on such a long journey.
Change the oil and check the tire pressure
If you haven’t changed the oil and added oil to your car’s engine in a while, now’s the time. Plus, add some new oil to your car’s engine before leaving town so that you have some extra on hand in case you get a flat tire or break down. If you haven’t adjusted your car’s tire pressure, do so now. A low tire pressure can cause a number of problems, including uneven tire wear, under or over steering, and even accidents. A good rule of thumb for your tires is 30 PSI in the front and 35 PSI in the rear.
Drivetrain and suspension checklist
Next, make sure that your drivetrain and suspension are in good working order. This includes the oil in your engine, the condition of your tires, and the condition of your brakes. Make sure your engine oil is full, and change it if it’s low. Make sure your car’s tires are in good shape and not close to being bald. If you’re going to be driving for a long period of time, make sure to check your brakes and suspension, as well. You don’t want a brake system that’s close to failing, and you don’t want a suspension that’s close to being worn out.
Other useful things to take with you
It is obviously of the utmost importance to remember to check out the health of your car before a long trip, but you should take a basic supply of essential items with you in case of an emergency. So, you should take a blanket, a mobile phone, some healthy snacks and plenty of water with you. This is to ensure that if you break down during the night you have some supplies to keep you going. It may also be a good idea to pack a book as well in case you get bored when you are waiting on a garage coming to help you if you need one. If you are travelling with children, it may also be a good idea to bring winter coats as if you break down at night they will definitely need all the warmth they can get.
If you have a snuggly pet, you’ll want to make sure to bring along toys and accessories so that he can stay comfortable while you drive. You can also use these items to keep your pet busy while on the road. Accessories like a pet harness and a car harness can help to keep your pet strapped in safely during car rides. Soft toys and blankets can also be used to keep your pet comfy and calm while you drive. If your pet is more of a hunter, bring along a durable toy that can withstand a certain amount of being thrown across the room.
While you can find water and food at gas stations and grocery stores while you’re on the road, you may want to bring your medication and other necessities that you’ll need with you no matter where you go. This could include any prescription medications or household items.